Digitalis ambigua(Perennial Foxglove)

Botanical Name: Digitalis grandiflora
Family:Scrophulariaceae
Synonyms: Digitalis orientalis, Digitalis ambigua
Common Name: Yellow Foxglove
Genus:Digitalis

Habitat:Originating in mountainous woodland and stony habitats from Europe to western Asia, yellow foxglove is tolerant of dry shade but flourishes with moisture.


Description:

A short-lived perennial or biennial. Digitalis ‘Ambigua’ is a lovely shade of buttery yellow that blooms in June and July. Flower throats are speckled with mahogany-brown spots and are born are 24 – 30 inch arching stems. Foliage is very neat and a crisp dark green that looks great even when the plant is not in bloom. Plant this perennial Digitalis in partial shade in a soil that has been amended with plenty of organic matter. Plants will appreciate a deep watering during hot dry spells and benefit from a good layer of mulch. Mix Ambigua with ferns and blue hostas for a natural woodland look.
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It is an evergreen perennial growing to 0.9m by 0.3m . . It is in leaf all year, in flower from July to August, and the seeds ripen in September. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees.

The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It requires dry or moist soil and can tolerate drought.

Arising in midsummer from neat clumps of fine-toothed foliage, a mass of soft yellow open bells, speckled brown inside, blooms along one side of a 3-foot-tall stem. Usually described as a perennial, it is more accurate to call it a biennial or short-lived perennial. If the flowering stalk is cut down after blooms have faded, it may rebloom in the fall. When a few flower stalks are left, the plant self-seeds.

Because of the shorter height of Yellow Foxglove, it can ramble along the edge of a path or nestle into the rock garden with ease. The pubescent, slightly gray leaves form tight rosettes that bear 2′ spikes with numerous soft, butter-yellow flowers splashed with tawny freckles inside. Plant standing above blue Spiderworts for a delicate and quietly charming combination. Not native.

Bloom color: Yellow
Bloom period: 26
Height: 2′
Spread: 2′
Zones: 3-8

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Noteworthy characteristics: These low-maintenance plants bloom with colorful, vertical drama. Yellow foxglove, like all species in this genus, contains poisonous properties and should never be eaten. Deer will avoid it.

Cultivation details
An easily grown plant, succeeding in ordinary garden soil, especially if it is rich in organic matter[1]. It also succeeds in dry soils and, once established, is drought tolerant. It prefers semi-shade but succeeds in full sun if the soil is moist. Plants are hardy to about -20°c. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer and rabbits.

Propagation
Seed – surface sow early spring in a cold frame. The seed usually germinates in 2 – 4 weeks at 20°c[175]. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in the summer.

Medicinal Uses
Cardiac; Stimulant; Tonic.
The leaves are cardiac, stimulant and tonic. They are often used in the treatment of certain heart complaints. All species of the genus Digitalis contain cardiac glycosides in their roots, stems, leaves and blossoms. Cardiac glycosides are a group of chemical compounds that taken by mouth slow the rate and regulate the rhythm of the heart beat as well as strengthen the heart muscle. These chemical compounds are very complex. They are difficult and very expensive to synthesize in the laboratory. All sources of the digitalis cardiac glycosides are, therefore, plant materials grown in cultivation specifically for medicinal purposes. Preparations made of the dried ground leaves are no longer prescibed. Extracted compounds are prescribed instead.

Known Hazards: All parts of the plant are poisonous

Disclaimer:The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
http://www.gorgetopgardens.com/perennials/digitalis-ambigua.html
http://www.finegardening.com/plantguide/digitalis-grandiflora-foxglove.aspx
http://www.piam.com/mms_garden/plants.html
http://www.nichegardens.com/catalog/item.php?id=1293
http://www.ibiblio.org/pfaf/cgi-bin/arr_html?Digitalis+grandiflora

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